Mixtape Monday #2

Hello Human Being.

This is my second entry for Mixtape Mondays.


Tool is one of those bands whose music is heavily entrenched in lyrical symbolism and intellectual musings. I spent a great deal of time as an undergraduate dissecting their songs using psychological theories. I think that Maynard James Keenan is basically a genius and seeing them play live was one of the single best performances I have ever witnessed. It was absolutely euphoric hearing that voice blasting across a huge arena, backed by some of the most intricately talented musicians in the business.

Today I am expressing my gratitude for this band. My oh my, how they have helped me through tough times when I’ve felt stuck, lost, and disconnected.
I am embracing the random because in some areas of my life, that’s all I’ve got. And that’s ok. Maynard says so.

toolband

Today’s selection is actually two tracks. Both have fit the bill for a number of difficult situations over the years. The first, Lateralus, reflects where I am now. I’ve found myself again, and again, going back to this song. There is something so utterly confident in Maynard’s voice, when he sings:

“Reaching out to embrace the random, reaching out to embrace whatever may come”

I’ve never been totally comfortable with the unknown. My current situation, revolves around a friendship that is no more, complicated by the fact that this person (and his wife) are very much involved with my larger network of friends (sadly, I introduced them). And due to this, I don’t really know where things stand. Suddenly it seems that allegiances are forming. The uneasiness that comes with unresolved matters sits heavy on my chest; The unrest I experience when in turmoil sets my heart fluttering. This song brings me calm and peace. It makes me feel confident that I can survive whatever may come. And maybe, even, that there is better to come. Maybe, I could go where no one’s been. So I choose to let this go, in order to embrace whatever may come.

Lateralus by Tool

Black then white are all I see in my infancy.
red and yellow then came to be, reaching out to me.
lets me see.
As below, so above and beyond, I imagine
drawn beyond the lines of reason.
Push the envelope. Watch it bend.

Over thinking, over analyzing separates the body from the mind.
Withering my intuition, missing opportunities and I must
Feed my will to feel my moment drawing way outside the lines.

Black then white are all I see in my infancy.
red and yellow then came to be, reaching out to me.
lets me see there is so much more
and beckons me to look through to these infinite possibilities.
As below, so above and beyond, I imagine
drawn outside the lines of reason.
Push the envelope. Watch it bend.

Over thinking, over analyzing separates the body from the mind.
Withering my intuition leaving all these opportunities behind.

Feed my will to feel this moment urging me to cross the line.
Reaching out to embrace the random.
Reaching out to embrace whatever may come.

I embrace my desire to
feel the rhythm, to feel connected
enough to step aside and weep like a widow
to feel inspired, to fathom the power,
to witness the beauty, to bathe in the fountain,
to swing on the spiral
of our divinity and still be a human.

With my feet upon the ground I lose myself
between the sounds and open wide to suck it in,
I feel it move across my skin.
I’m reaching up and reaching out,
I’m reaching for the random or what ever will bewilder me.
And following our will and wind we may just go where no one’s been.
We’ll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one’s been.

Spiral out. Keep going…


The second song, simply put, is a reminder to let go. The friend I’m losing has been a part of my life for over 20 years. Throughout that time we’ve had our ups and downs, but it seems that as we grow older, the bad has overshadowed the good, and we’ve grown further apart. It’s almost as if I’ve been held to another standard from everyone else, yet I’m not given the same respect that he has given to those who he does not know as well. I’ve never heard this person apologize in situations where it really counts. Truth be told I think his ego is massive, to the extent that he lacks empathy. He’s really into blowing up at people for little things, holding grudges, and being unwilling to see the other side of things. He’s never had one true best friend, well besides me, that he hasn’t iced out over the years, over what is usually a minor disagreement. And when he is in disagreement, he fights dirty. After all these years, and the recent slights to me and my husband, whose character he has defiled, I have decided to let go. I’m not wholly surprised that this season of my life has led to a reduced tolerance for peoples’ bullshit. In the following track, Maynard refers to Saturn, which I find to be quite relevant, considering my own experience with Saturn Return, which is a transitory time in which we often reorganize and weigh out our priorities (read more here).  For me, this includes making room for those that bring happiness, joy, and kinship to my life; this meant standing up for myself, and deciding what exactly I was willing to stand for. And as it turns out, I don’t stand for hatefulness. I don’t stand for grown adults that don’t know how to apologize. I don’t stand for men who cast stones and call people outside of their name. I don’t stand for someone who is willing to end a friendship with me over a simple misunderstanding. And I certainly don’t stand for someone who does not have mutual respect and empathy for me. To this end, I could think of no better song to reflect this situation as a whole:

The Grudge by Tool

Wear the grudge like a crown of negativity.
Calculate what we will or will not tolerate.
Desperate to control all and everything.
Unable to forgive your scarlet lettermen.

Clutch it like a cornerstone. Otherwise it all comes down.
Justify denials and grip ’em to the lonesome end.
Clutch it like a cornerstone. Otherwise it all comes down.
Terrified of being wrong. Ultimatum prison cell.

Saturn ascends, choose one or ten. Hang on or be humbled again.

Clutch it like a cornerstone. Otherwise it all comes down.
Justify denials and grip ’em to the lonesome end.
Saturn ascends, comes round again.
Saturn ascends, the one, the ten. Ignorant to the damage done.

Wear the grudge like a crown of negativity.
Calculate what we will or will not tolerate.
Desperate to control all and everything.
Unable to forgive your scarlet lettermen.

Wear your grudge like a crown. Desperate to control.
Unable to forgive. And we’re sinking deeper.

Defining, confining, controlling, and we’re sinking deeper.

Saturn comes back around to show you everything
Let’s you choose what you will not see and then
Drags you down like a stone or lifts you up again
Spits you out like a child, light and innocent.

Saturn comes back around. Lifts you up like a child or
Drags you down like a stone
To consume you till you choose to let this go.

Give away the stone. Let the oceans take and
Transmutate this cold and fated anchor.
Give away the stone. Let the waters kiss and
Transmutate these leaden grudges into gold.
Let go.

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